Kathmandu – Meetings, Temple and Pedicure

between 24. April and 1. May 2024



After the trek I spent 2 days in Kathmandu and after Chitwan another 3 days until my departure. I didn’t really feel like taking any more photos, not even with my mobile phone. Except at the temple. But that’s why there are hardly any pictures of what I experienced.


After such a trek, I miss the mountain world as much as I enjoy the various comforts. A room with a freshly made bed and the loo right next door with thick walls and no freezing, that’s great! Giving away all the laundry and getting it back nice and clean later – great! The food was a bit different from the standard trekking menus – very nice! Unfortunately my health had deteriorated again, I could hardly sleep because of a sore throat, I was coughing, one eye was starting to water again, my nose was running and one ear was also starting to tug. So one of the first things I went to was a pharmacy: antibiotics. Without them, it seemed hopeless to get pain-free again. Unfortunately, this included side effects – but that’s the way it is. At least it got noticeably better.


I had forgotten to cut my toenails properly beforehand and didn’t have any nail scissors with me – so I searched for a pedicure. Thamel tourist centre is full of spas and the like that advertise massages everywhere. I searched around quite a bit until I found a kind of beauty parlour, which was also special and not really attractive to tourists. And that was the great thing again. A windowless room, ladies loitering around in garish make-up, some of whom I initially thought were ladyboys, no other customers and a rather dingy ambience. After the first impulse to run away, I stayed, managed to negotiate the price down and then experienced a pleasant surprise: it was totally beautiful! I was lying on a recliner and a lady in a leopard top was working on my feet with enthusiastic devotion. An assistant scurried around and handed her everything she wanted. They both kept beaming at me and I felt so cosy that I almost dozed off. Almost – because then an intoxicated guy arrived and started nagging around. He seemed to be lamenting about life to me, the ladies insisted that he should lament somewhere else and with persistent friendliness they actually managed to get him to leave the room. After over an hour it was done – result: baby feet! I don’t think I’ve ever had such tender, soft, fragrant feet! I left the parlour exhilarated, smiling back and forth, and was very happy to have stayed.


The next day was my meeting day! First I met the one Indian from Gokyo for breakfast. His name is Suneet and his mate was sleeping the sleep of the exhausted. They were staying at Fairfields for Marriotts and I enjoyed the breakfast buffet. I learnt that at least this Pune Indian drinks his coffee first and then eats. I drank the coffee slowly and wondered when we were finally going to the buffet (asking him seemed rude to me) and he was practically scratching his feet that I would finally have my coffee ready so we could finally go to the buffet. That’s the thing about differences and politeness. Suneet had given a great account of his tour on his WhatsApp status and I was hoping to pick up some of his enthusiasm because I was so grumpy. Suneet is a sportsman and tennis player and the tour was a sporting challenge for him in addition to the Everest Base Camp sight, which he was very pleased to have mastered. It was all very impressive, but I couldn’t elicit any real enthusiasm for the mountains from him. I found that very interesting. We parted with very opposing views, but I still enjoyed chatting with him. At least we were able to talk to each other and that was really good.


Next I met Amir for a chat. Amir is from Iran and was travelling alone on a 3-pass tour including car journeys. We met him in a dusty pick-up between Paiya and Phaplu. Tenji immediately disliked him: he had body odour, smoked (very rarely, as I found out later) and ordered a beer after lunch. Tenji just didn’t want him to spend the night in the same accommodation and I didn’t really want to assert myself either. Although I still didn’t know whether I liked him or not. But somehow he insisted on my WhatsApp number and contacted me in KTM, and I was curious anyway – who ever meets an Iranian in Nepal? And then we actually had a really nice long chat. Amir had discovered trekking for himself at some point and endeavoured to do various tours in the mountains of the world. He films a lot – and I’m already looking forward to the results. His main profession is animation film maker. We had a similar view of travelling, mountains and trekking, which was also very nice after the previous conversation.


And in the evening I met Jens. I had met him shortly after Namche, but he was travelling towards Everest Base Camp first. But in that short half hour or so together, we realised we had so much in common that we really wanted to reconnect. Couchsurfing helped, he could easily remember my name and location and then contacted me via that. And so we had an evening full of stories and yet too short. I find it fascinating to meet people when travelling with whom you have a very intense exchange in a short space of time and a kind of familiarity as if you’ve known each other for a long time. So I went to bed that evening very fulfilled and delighted.


Dal Bhaat


The three men all flew home – and I travelled to Chitwan. When I got back from there, I had other tasks for the new job: looking at accommodations and places. There were a few hotels to look at in Kathmandu. Conclusion: I like the main accommodation very much – and then there was also one in old walls, beautifully renovated, which I also liked very much.


The next day I set off with a driver called Arjun. He was a great driver who not only drove well but was also very nice and spoke great German. So why wasn’t he a guide? Too little education…. He had also been to Germany before – including Helgoland. I have a hunch that Heligoland hasn’t seen too many Nepalis. He thought it was great there. Cold, though. It was July and he hadn’t been told about the strong wind.


driver Arjun


We travelled to Nagarkot. Nagarkot is on the programme of many tour operators. Without having done much research, I always thought it was a nice village on a mountain ridge with great views. You do have great views – but only if the weather is right. But it had been weeks since they’d had a great view because of the clouds. However, it is not a village, but a collection of accommodations with rooms that face the great view. You can probably go for a walk – but even that didn’t quite convince me. How good that I’ve now seen it for myself. Albeit without a great view.


Then we drove to the oldest temple in the Kathmandu Valley, the Changu Narayan. I thought it was pretty great. There’s a story about it: Vishnu once had the goal of eradicating all evil and fought valiantly against the demon king Chand. Unfortunately, he killed a Brahmin in the process. Oh dear – a mortal sin! The Brahmin’s teacher was furious and predicted that Vishnu himself would be beheaded. At that time, Vishnu lived in a tree, repented deeply, sat on his bird Garuda and rode around aimlessly. He came to Changu. There lived a hermit who cut off Vishnu’s head. That was salvation for him! And from then on he wanted to live in this place. When the moon is full on Wednesdays and you pray to Narayan, your sins are also forgiven. No head off!


Here are the pictures:


















There are plenty of details. It’s best to go and see for yourself! We drove to another resort high up on another mountain hill. You probably have a great view here too, but it was also too hazy. However, I liked it much better here, the resort was nicely designed, the vegetation was varied and the surrounding forest was great for hiking. Down in the valley there was a place with the highest density of Buddhist monasteries in Nepal. Unfortunately, there was no time left to visit them.


Then the last day had dawned. The hotel owner, Pema, had taken it into her head to make the Diamir office happy with lots of gifts, all of which I was supposed to take with me. She was kind enough to take me to the old town and shop a few more things. That was very nice with her. She also took me to the best lassi shop, where we had our photo taken:


Pema, me and yummy Lassi


In the meantime, I was contacted by a porter I met last year on the Annapurna tour. We really liked each other. And then he was sitting in my hotel lobby and we went to a pub. His name is Durga, he is now 20 years old and has progressed from porter to assistant guide. His English was also much better than last year. It was really nice to meet him.


Durga, me and yummy mint-Lemonade


And late in the evening we went to the airport and then the Nepal trip was over. And what I think about it will be in the last blog post.